As William Shakespeare once said “All the world’s a stage, and all men and women merely players”. While many of us may remember the “Murder at the Juice Joint”, on 17 March 2016, as a night of fun and great costumes, one question we need to ask ourselves is: did it meet the objectives of Toastmasters International? The fundamental objective of Toastmasters is to educate men and women through the process of self-improvement and leadership training so they may increase their confidence in business, professional and community life.
The night started off with a call of order, with the owner of the Juice Joint, Rosie Marie (aka Monique Tonna) welcoming her guests to the party and calling all to remember her late husband, Louie. Following this everyone was given an envelope with their instructions for the first half of the evening and a wad of cash to spend as they saw fit. From forging alliances and giving/receiving bribes, not only were our speaking skills (e.g. forming an ice breaker and getting to the point) put to the test but they became essential in the game.
From the beginning of the night, we were introduced to the major players in the game: Notorious Nick (aka Sean Leise), the powerful and assertive north side mob boss who had plans of controlling the police department and the city; South Side Sal (aka Tom Woods), the southern mob boss who would stop at nothing to expand his territory; and Mayor Biggs (aka Ian Lipski), the head of the city with a dark past.
During the middle of the evening there was a sudden silence, only to find out that Notorious Nick had been murdered. PI Pinkerton (aka Sam Fenton) took on the role of the chairman for the investigation, to figure out the identity of the murderer.
Following this we were given a second envelope, with instructions on what to do. From putting together the clues to figure out the identity of the murderer, to working out what people had to gain or lose from the murder of Notorious Nick, not only did the second half of the night become like a round of table topics, where impromptu speaking became important, but also assessing people’s vocal variety and body language could be used in figuring out who the murderer was! The final segment of the night consisted of the lead investigator, PI Pinkerton summing up the evidence room the night, including the identity and motive of the murderer.
While many enjoyed the night for the chance to take on a new role and wear a great costume, little did we realize that it helped us improve our skills in public speaking, and also in role playing. “Murder at the Juice Joint” will be remembered for its ability to inspire us to take on new roles, but also become better speakers.
The Murderer (Chief Cameron, aka Andrew Emerson)
Note: You can read more about “Murder at the Juice Joint” here.